Who Killed Customer Loyalty

“Customers are no longer loyal. They will leave to save a few dollars.”

There is some truth to this statement. People are no longer as loyal to companies as they once were. They don’t feel the same undying loyalty they did at one time.

The interesting question is not whether this statement is true. The interesting question is, “Who went first?”

When we say people are no longer loyal, we need to identify of whom exactly we are speaking.

Who Went First?

Did the customer go first?

Did the customer who was totally satisfied and thrilled beyond belief suddenly decide that it made no sense to be loyal and leave to find something better? Having all of their needs met by a company, did the bond on their side of the relationship weaken without any cause, destroying their loyalty?

This doesn’t make sense, does it? When people are 100 percent satisfied and know that people care about them, they tend to be extremely loyal. This is true even when something better is available to them. You have relationships with companies where the individual people are important enough to you that you won’t change for a better offering or lower price.

All things being equal, relationships win. This fact has been true for thousands of years. It will be true for thousands more.

If the customer didn’t go first, who did?

The High Price of a Low Transaction Cost

Is it possible that companies and businesses went first? Could the drive for increased profits have caused cost-cutting that reduced the service level and loosened the bonds between the company and their customers? Could a reliance on automation to reduce transaction costs under the guise of serving customers better have also eliminated many of the touch points on which deep, loyal relationships were built?

You may have a deep relationship with a brand. But in large, complex business-to-business sales, it’s difficult for a brand to generate loyalty. It’s the people inside the brand with whom you have the relationship. And when you no longer have a relationship, you no longer feel a sense of loyalty.

If you don’t care about your customers, if you have no intimacy, then why would you expect them to feel a sense of loyalty to you?

If you treat people like a transaction, then that is how they will view your relationship. Anyone can deliver a transactional experience. Loyalty requires much more of you.

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